FSSAI Directs E-Commerce Platforms to Accurately Label Beverage Drinks

Takahiro Yamagiwa - Expert in Food Safety Regulations
FSSAI Directs E-Commerce Platforms to Accurately Label Beverage Drinks

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has recently issued a directive to E-Commerce companies regarding the categorization of beverage drinks. The directive emphasizes the correct labeling of cereal-based, dairy-based, or malt-based beverages, refraining from using terms like “Energy Based Drinks” or “Health Drinks”. This move aims to ensure compliance with the country's food laws and to provide a clear and relevant definition of “Health Drinks”.

Regulation of Online Food and Beverage Sales by FSSAI:

  • The Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 defines food safety as ensuring that food is acceptable for human consumption and meets its intended purposes.
  • FSSAI oversees food safety in areas such as handling, preparation, and storage to prevent foodborne illnesses.
  • The regulations extend to beverages and bars, requiring compliance with food standards.

Challenges in Enforcing Online Food Safety Regulations:

  • A major challenge is ensuring that food is not contaminated in toxic environments.
  • Food items must have a shelf life of at least 30% (equivalent to 45 days before the expiry date) at the time of delivery.
  • Regulations vary for restaurants, caterers, and online food delivery services, with a focus on delivering freshly cooked meals.

Food Safety Legislation and Compliance:

  • The President of India approved food safety legislations in 2006, making them a published act.
  • Guidelines are regularly updated for all food establishments, including restaurants and e-commerce delivery agents.
  • Online food delivery companies must comply with strict norms and delist unlicensed restaurants.
  • Regulations also cover packaging and labeling requirements for food products.

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